Testing Requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act and the 2017 Standards of Accreditation (Superintendent's Memo #299-18), Virginia Department of Education, VDOE


A number of school divisions have asked for clarification regarding the testing requirements under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the 2017 revision to the Standards of Accreditation (SOA).

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Under ESSA, students must be tested in reading and mathematics annually in grades 3-8 and once in high school (grades 9-12). In science, students must be tested once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school. Students may meet the ESSA testing requirements by taking a Standards of Learning (SOL) test, or in the case of students with significant cognitive disabilities, participating in the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP). Schools that do not test 95 percent of their students in reading and mathematics will be required to submit a plan to the Virginia Department of Education. ESSA does not require a plan for schools that do not test 95 percent of their students in science. Students who do not take the assessments are generally counted as non-participants in the relevant subject area. However, if parents refuse to have their students tested, the students will count as participants and receive a “0” score. As in previous years, the “0” score will be included in the school and division pass rates calculated for the purpose of federal accountability.


Assessment Curriculum/Instructional Methods Elementary Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Federal Laws High School Math Middle School Professional Resources SOL Resources State Laws